The summit of the local and regional leaders of the European People’s Party, attended by President Klaus Iohannis took place at Romexpo Exhibition Centre on Saturday, with more than 150 mayors and regional leaders from Europe, attending, as well as about 3,000 local elected representatives from Romania, participating in the meeting.
At the invitation of PNL leader Ludovic Orban, participating in this event was Romanian President Klaus Iohannis, EPP’s candidate for the European Commission presidency, Manfred Weber, EPP Secretary General Antonio Lopez Isturiz White, EPP’s group leader in the Committee of the Regions, Michael Schneider, and the EPP campaign manager for the 2019 elections, Dara Murphy.
At the meeting in Bucharest, Manfred Weber presented his vision about the future of the European Union and the main lines of the EPP programme for the European Commission presidency.
On the same occasion, it was presented the EPP Regional and Local Manifesto for the European Parliament elections of May 26.
The EPP Summit was divided into two debate panels on improving the live standard of local communities, with the following participants: Olgierd Geblewicz (President of Westpomerania Region, Poland), Daniela Cimpean (president of Sibiu County Council), Emil Boc (mayor of Cluj -Napoca), Jelena Drenjanin (representative of the Stockholm region), Yordanka Fandakova (mayor of Sofia), Markku Markkula (president of the Helsinki region), Gheorghe Flutur (president of Suceava County Council / President of the League of Elected Local Representatives of PNL), Ana Lidia Pereira (president of the EPP youth organization).
Klaus Iohannis: We need Romanians’ votes and we will have it
President Klaus Iohannis on Saturday said that the vote of the Romanians is needed in the European Parliament elections.
“I am excited to see you again in such a large number. (…) An excellent atmosphere, determined people, with good friends, what else do we need? We need the Romanians’ vote and we will have it,” the head of state said at the Summit of local and regional leaders of the European People’s Party, currently taking place in Bucharest.
He went on to stress the importance of the European Parliament elections.
“This is a symbolic year, for it marks 30 years since the totalitarian regimes have finally disappeared. We have 30 years of democracy, since we regained our freedom to return to the great European family, to which we belong, after a long suffering. We still remember what dictatorship means, the dictatorship of mediocrity, which holds in power a group of privileged of the moment, while the honest citizens are losing their freedom and the right to a decent life. The elections to the European Parliament are more important than in the previous years, for Europe cannot go back in time,” said Klaus Iohannis.
PSD has dressed the façade patriotism coat, and the maximum hypocrisy is to attack the European institutions that criticize the slippages, while asking for the people’s vote to send elected representatives to these institutions
President Klaus Iohannis stated on Saturday at the EPP Summit that PSD has dressed the façade patriotism coat, and the maximum hypocrisy is to attack the European institutions that criticize the slippages, while asking for the people’s vote to send elected representatives to these institutions.
“The elections of May 26 gain a special importance. However, it is also a moment with a deep civic valence, because Europe’s future must be decided by the will of people, not by their lack of involvement. Absenteeism means to allow others to decide in our place. You, regional and local leaders, are the direct interface with people, and I urge you to tell this to the citizens. In the end, voting ids the best form of answer and sanction towards the populist, demagogic speech, which has become virulent in Europe, as well as in Romania”, Klaus Iohannis stated.
The President took the opportunity to attack PSD once again.
“I see that PSD has dressed the coat of the false patriotism, of the façade nationalism, trying to gain voters by indicating fear. It is the cynical, irresponsible way of making politics. The proof of the maximum hypocrisy is to deny exactly the principles on which EU was founded, to attack the institutions that signal your slippages, while asking for the Romanians’ vote to send elected representatives to those institutions. Being a good patriot doesn’t mean to be antithetical to Brussels. Romania is Europe and Europe is Romania”, the President also said.
President Klaus Iohannis added that the European Romania means a country with a state of law and independent justice, and he believes that Romanians will continue to be loyal to the values that bring prosperity.
“Our Romania, the European Romania, means welfare, prosperity, an independent justice and a state of law. This is the reason for which Romanians chose in 2007 the path of a modern country, with free people, with fair laws, with equal rights with the other European citizens. I am sure they will reject populism and will continue to be loyal to the values that bring prosperity, which are found inside the EU”, Klaus Iohannis said.
The President also spoke about the EP elections.
“Even if it’s not perfect, the European project has provided us with the longest period of prosperity and peace in Europe, and we must mobilize ourselves from responsibility for the future generations. This is not only a task of the elected representatives, or our representatives, this is not the exclusive duty of the heads of state or government, but it is a test of solidarity which all of us must pass, citizens and politicians, every day. (…) The battle for a better Europe is our battle, the battle of all those for whom Europe is synonymous with peace, prosperity and freedom of all the EU citizens. This year, in which EP elections will take place, is a symbolic year. We celebrate 30 years since the totalitarian regimes from the Eastern Europe have finally disappeared. There are 30 years of democracy. There are 30 years since we gained the freedom to be able to return, after a long suffering, in the big European family we are part of. We still remember what tyranny and the dictatorship of mediocrity, which maintains a group of privileged people in power, mean. And the dramas of those dark years will not repeat, not in Europe, not as long as it’s up to us to prevent it. Europe cannot go back in time. It is our responsibility to start a new era of prosperity and security”, Klaus Iohannis also said at the EPP Summit.
Ludovic Orban: “They mocked Romania”
The Liberal Chairman Ludovic Orban stated at the EPP Summit of Saturday that his party has overtaken PSD in polls and is an upward trajectory, while PSD is “falling down because they mocked Romania”.
“16%-17%. I think many of you, if I told in January or February that we have the force to defeat the red plague with no reservations, you would have probably considered that I am not down-to-earth. Today I am going to tell you that PNL has overtaken PSD, and not only this, but we are on an upward trajectory, while they are falling down because they mocked Romania. Also, Klaus Iohannis is ranked the first in polls”, Ludovic Orban stated.
The Liberal leader added that PSD has promised they will increase salaries and pensions, but the economic measures caused the increase of the energy and gas bills and the prices, in general.
“In the next two years, our only solution to win is to meet people, go on every lane and building entrance and told them about the bad things made by the comrades from PSD, who promised increased pensions and salaries, but the only thing they did was to cause a useless conflict with the European leaders. They did nothing else but increase the energy and gas bills and the prices of medicines and food. PSD gave with one hand and took with two hands”, Orban concluded.
He declared himself excited, because five years ago Liberals had a very difficult campaign in which most of the people didn’t think they will win the presidential elections.
“I confess I am excited because as you well remember, 5 years ago we had a campaign of a maximum difficulty in which almost no one gave us any change, in which the state party had almost all the power levers in its hand, and yet the PNL candidate crushed the PSD candidate with a score that no one expected”, Ludovic Orban said.
“I will start by presenting you a difference between PNL and PSD. You must know that Manfred Weber, the EPP candidate for the EC President, even if he doesn’t wear headphones, you must know he has a speaker inside his ear and he does listen what the PNL representatives are speaking, unlike Timmermans, who didn’t make any effort to listen one word of Liviu Dragnea at the Socialists’ Congress. There are no miracles, there are no miracle solutions, there are no forces from behind or from shadow to help us. Brothers, there is only our common sense, only our education, our humanity, our compassion for those who are suffering, only our love to our fellow men, there is the work of the PNL mayors, there are our projects. There is only one solution for Romania, and its name is PNL”, Ludovic Orban stated.
Antonio Lopez Isturiz White: Romania is an example; socialist Gov’t – a failure
The secretary-general of the European People’s Party (EPP) Antonio Lopez Isturiz White said on Saturday that Romania is an example, unlike the current Socialist Government in Bucharest, which is a “failure.”
“Romania is an example, but not this government, not the Socialists here.” The socialist government is a failure, and this is not the real image of Romania, the image of Romania is here, in the efficiency, modesty, in the people who work hard, people who have creativity. The Romanian diaspora is an example for Spain, it has helped Spain,” said Antonio Lopez Isturiz White at the Summit of EPP local and regional leaders held in Bucharest.
He also mentioned that he spoke in an interview about the lack of motorways in Romania. “I said in an interview a few days ago – what an unfortunate situation. In our country [Spain – editor’s note], people think that there are too many motorways being built, while here people are protesting because there are no motorways being built, it is ridiculous,” said the secretary-general of the EPP.
“It is by far the biggest event we produced in this campaign. Actually, Romania is an example for all of us. Not this Government, not the socialists here. This is a failure. This is not Romania’s image. Romania’s image is here, the modesty, the people working hard. The Romanian diaspora is an example for Spain and it helped a lot Romania. I also thank to the PNL Chairman, Ludovic Orban. These days I talked with him, and what pleasure could be greater than talking with a politician who takes responsibility? Romania’s conversations were about Romania’s future. He asked me about the infrastructure in Spain, about projects. I said people are dissatisfied in our country because there are too many motorways being built, while people here are protesting because there are too few. This is ridiculous”, Antonio Lopez stated.
“As a Spanish citizen, I am very proud of you towards the thousands of Romanians in Spain. Europe is in an important situation, and being here, in Bucharest, is not an accident, because the battle for Europe started here. It is the battle for rights, for democracy, it is Romania’s hour. Socialism is no longer the answer to the European citizens’ needs. We see the real face of socialism in Romania. We see the disaster of this pseudo-Government, by the economic measures. A say pseudo-Government because the Government’s mission is to govern for Romanians, while this Executive is not concerned with the interests of the Romanian citizens. PSD attacks the rule of law. PSD is against the European values. This country that faced Turkeys, resisted against the phantasm of nationalism. Romania cannot surrender in front of the trap of Socialism, it cannot fall into the trap of Socialism”, Antonio Lopez stated.
“We are here to offer support to the Romanian and European citizens because we need responsible politics. PNL is one of the most respected parties in Europe (…) Be sure you can count on me, on President Joseph Daul, on Manfred Weber and the EPP campaign staff. We hope we can count on you, on PNL, to prevent the socialist disaster”, Lopez added.
The EPP secretary-general thanked to the PNL candidates for the EP elections and particularly to the journalist Rares Bogdan, who opens the party’s list for the EP elections.
“Because you are the best, I know than now my future colleagues on the European list, Rares Bogdan is the head of the list. Rares, thanks a lot for making this step to help Romania and the Romanian people”, Lopez also said.
The suffocating bureaucracy
In his turn, Michael Schneider, the leader of the EPP group in the European Committee of the Regions, said that Romania’s development was prevented by the incompetence of the current Socialist Government, by the suffocating bureaucracy and by the lack of allocations for regional and local authorities.
Michael Schneider: Development of Romanian communities stopped by current Social Gov’t’s incompetence
Michael Schneider, leader of the EPP group in the European Committee of the Regions, on Saturday said that the development of the Romanian regions and cities, communities improved significantly under the leadership of the National Liberal Party (PNL), but was “stopped by the incompetence of the current Socialist government “.
“You can be proud that you have a country with an interesting history, beautiful landscapes, people with a wide heart. Since Romania’s accession to the EU in 2007, you, the Romanians, have succeeded in making important progresses in implementing projects funded by the EU. The Romanian regions and cities have improved significantly under your leadership, and also the lives of citizens and communities have greatly improved, but this development was hampered by the incompetence of the current Socialist government, through suffocating bureaucracy and refusal to give more money to the local and regional authorities,” said Michael Schneider at the Summit of EPP local and regional leaders in Bucharest.
According to him, “a small group of individuals act in their own personal interest to get political and financial gains.”
“I want to reassure you that the European Union is our common home, and I will remain your most trusted partner.” The EU is this partner, and the life of Romanians must be further improved with investments based on the structural funds, agricultural funds and funds for rural development. These investments are not always visible to the citizens, so we need to better communicate what added value the EU brings. (…) The cohesion policy is not a charitable action, it is an investment for all the European, especially those in the Central and Eastern Europe. We need to continue with a strong EU budget after 2020, in order to increase competitiveness and reduce the gap between poorer and richer regions in the EU,” said Michael Schneider.
He also recommended to the Romanians “not to diminish the role of the Romanian people in the world”.
“You are the representatives of a proud nation, which can be proud of its past and must have great confidence in its future. Do not lessen the role that you can play in the world. Be modest when it comes of your own persons, but don’t be modest when it comes to your nation,” the EPP group leader in the Committee of the Regions urged.
The European official also spoke in Romanian, quoting Ion I.C. Bratianu, who addressed the Parliament in December 1919.
“«Gentlemen, you are the representatives of a nation that is proud and can be proud of its past, and which must be always confident in its future. Do not diminish the role it has to have in the world; be as modest as you can for your person, don’t be modest for the nation you are representing». I hope you will follow the words of your predecessor Ion I.C. Bratianu, the founding father of PNL”, Schneider concluded.
Presenting the candidates
PNL Chairman Ludovic Orban presented its candidates for the EP elections at the EPP Summit held in Bucharest, saying that they are “the winged hussars”. Journalist Rares Bogdan, about whom Orban says “he came back home”, is on the first place.
“Many times, I asked myself if he [e.n: Rares Bogdan] should be PNL’s candidate. Let’s be honest, Rares Bogdan was the spearhead in the battle against PSD, when the “bought” media was silent. He is the man that had the courage and force to tell the truth about these bastards who mock Romania. I thought there is a risk that a tribune from where truth is told will disappear. Rares Bogdan comes back after a very successful journalistic career”, Ludovic Orban said.
The PNL Chairman invited the PNL candidates for the EP elections on the stage of the EPP Summit. However, Mircea Hava wasn’t present.
“Turkeys’ last attempt to occupy Vienna was thwarted by cavalry hussars. My dears, the cavalry charge has begun. The winged hussars are ready to fight. Each of you must enter the battle with confidence in success”, Orban also said.
Manfred Weber: We must have the same living standard all over Europe
The EPP candidate for the presidency of the European Commission, Manfred Weber, on Saturday said, in his presentation of his vision for the future of the EU and the main guidelines of the European People’s Party programme for the EC president, that he will fight for the same living standard in all Europe.
“I am 46 years old and I grew up in Bavaria. My generation can say that in Europe, everywhere, we have freedom and peace … This is possible because the leaders from the EPP family have succeeded in ensuring this. I fight against all those who want to destroy Europe as it is today, against nationalists, populists. (…) This Europe has been built by us, we are proud of it and we will continue to defend it in the future. We live in the best Europe ever, (…) but there are still things that need to be solved. The first message of the EPP Manifesto is that I dream of a better Europe. As president of the European Commission, I want to fight for a Europe in which no one will be forced to leave the region where they live for financial reasons. We must fight for a Europe in which everyone enjoys the same living standard,” Manfred Weber said at the EPP Summit of local and regional leaders, held on Saturday in Bucharest.
He said that, as the President of the European Commission, he will be in favor of regional development policies and infrastructure development.
“3.5 million Romanians have left Romania in the last years. One third of the young generation has left this country and this is unacceptable. So we need to have the same living standard (…) To give young people a better future, especially in the rural areas. We must be open for trade, as Europeans. For 1.1 million Romanians work in sectors where products are produced for export to third countries and not to the EU. This is too much. We can only have a good economic future if we believe in our trade policies. This is the problem. The Socialists, the Greens, the left are skeptical about the future trade agreements … The Socialists are opposing them, they want to do the same thing as Donald Trump. They want to block trade, stop it, build walls. On the economic side, I want to create bridges, because this is the only way to achieve good economic development and a sustainable trade policy,” said Weber.
The EPP candidate pointed out that “there is no contradiction between local and national pride and the pride of being European, because the three identities go hand in hand.”
“I will not allow any nationalist or populist person to say that these three values are contradictory. They are together,” underscored Manfred Weber.
He said that, at European level, in politics “you have to start listening to people’s concerns.”
“It all starts by listening to people, and I cannot imagine a better place to discuss this issue than the Committee of the Regions, and I respect the mayors with their daily work (…) they are closer to the people, so listening to mayors is an essential thing,” said the EPP candidate for the European Commission’s presidency.
Manfred Weber also said he wanted to present a master plan to fight cancer. “If Europeans find a response to cancer, then this world will become a better place,” he said.
Referring to migration, Weber said the European Union could control its external borders and said EPP wants the EU “to regain control of its borders.”
“Europe is a strong continent from an economic point of view. (…) But we are not strong enough at the political level. We are economically strong, but we are still politically weak. So we need to find a way. (…) We have to respond to China’s challenge, to what Vladimir Putin does, we need to see how we react to what Trump does, (…) Turkey. We need to be able to speak globally in one voice, ” Weber said.
Stressing that “diversity in Europe is very great,” Manfred Weber highlighted the common Christian values of Europeans.
“We have one thing in common in Europe: there is a Christian church in every village, and this is why I believe that this continent is based on Christian principles and we should be proud of this, that we have these common values,” said Weber.
Another point he approached touched upon the EU-Turkey relationship.
“We cannot say that Turkey has shown a commitment to implementing the rule of law and the principles and values we all believe in. That is why Turkey is moving away from Europe. The best thing we can do in this relationship is to have a honest approach. We should say we want to have a strong friendship relationship, but Turkey becoming full member of the EU will not work. I promise that I will stop talking about this, because we have to define the EU’s borders in the end,” the EPP candidate to EC presidency said.
Among the points of the EPP Regional and Local Manifesto for the 2019 European Parliament elections, entitled “We want a European Union together with people and for the people” presented on Saturday, in Bucharest, by Manfred Weber, there is also the need to make decisions based on the principle of subsidiarity, more environmentally-friendly transport and more energy-efficient housing.
Manfred Weber: “Romania wasn’t seen anymore as part of the EU decisions”
The EPP candidate for the leadership of the European Commission, Manfred Weber, stated that in the recent years Romania wasn’t seen anymore as part of the EU decisions because of the internal problems related to the rule of law and fight against corruption.
“I’m thinking to Romania, and when I am doing this, I have to tell you that in the recent years it was seen as a country of which I was speaking referring to the rule of law, the fight against corruption, internal problems. Romania wasn’t seen anymore as part of the EU decisions. It’s a tragedy to see that Romania is no longer a pioneer at the European level. The reason is the current Romania Government which is more concerned with the party’s interest, instead of the citizen’s one”, Manfred Weber stated.
He said that Klaus Iohannis’ presidency is a positive issue in Romania.
“But the positive issue is that there was one person who gave a clear signal that we can trust Romania. This person is President Klaus Iohannis. You should be proud of having such a great President. Now, when we are speaking about the EU’s future, we must understand that it begins with the manner of listening, as Antonio also said. Europe must learn how to listen people. Listening mayors is a key issue, because they get involved for citizens, for their day-to-day lives”, Weber explained.
The EPP politician explained that migration has decreased in the Mediterranean Sea region.
“We have reduced migration in the Mediterranean Sea region. If we think at Brexit, we must have a common voice of the 27 member states. We can be proud of what we achieved now at the EU level”, he added.
The European official also said that, looking in perspective from a historical point of view, Europe has become free and secure.
Sometimes, when we speak of Europe, we focus on concrete issues and forget the broader perspective. For 46 years, I grew up in Bavaria, and I am the first generation on the continent being able to say that my generation can live in a Europe where freedom and peace rule”, the leader of the EPP group in the European Parliament, Manfred Weber, concluded.
Weber, about Kovesi
The leader of the EPP group in the European Parliament, Manfred Weber, stated on Saturday that he was surprised to see that the Government doesn’t support Laura Codruta Kovesi’s candidacy for the head of the European Public Prosecutor’s Office, mentioning that Romania should be proud that such a position could be held by a Romanian.
“I would like to speak now about the rule of law and implicitly about PSD. I am surprised. I must say that for the first time, we will have a European Chief-Prosecutor who will fight for the rule of law and against the European corruption. It is a surprise for me that the Romanian Government doesn’t support this lady. I believe Romania should be proud that the European Chief-Prosecutor could be a Romanian citizen, that’s why I fully support this candidacy”, stated the EPP candidate for the presidency of the European Commission, Manfred Weber, at the EPP Summit of the local and regional leaders.
Laura Codruta Kovesi is a candidate for the position of the head of the European Public Prosecutor’s Office.
The President and the Vice President of the LIBE Commission, Claude Moraes and Judith Sargentini, the President of the CONT Commission, Ingeborg Grassle, forn the negotiation staff of the EP with the EU Council for the European Chief-Prosecutor.
The decision was made at the meeting of the Conference of Presidents, on March 7, in Brussels. The Conference of Presidents took place after the LIBE Commission of the European Parliament selected Laura Codruta Kovesi, after a secret voting, on the first place on the list of candidates for the European Chief-Prosecutor.
The result was: Laura Codruţa Kovesi -26 votes, Jean-François Bohnert (France) -22 votes, and Andrés Ritter (Germany) -1 vote.
François Bohnert was ranked the first on the list for the appointment of the European Chief-Prosecutor, being followed by Laura Codruta Kovesi from Romania and by the German Andrés Ritter.
Weber, about his candidacy for the head of the European Commission
The EPP candidate for the head of the European Commission, Manfred Weber, declared his wish to fight for a Europe in which no one will be forced for leave his region because of the poor living conditions, mentioning that the European Socialists have similar trade policies to Donald Trump.
“I wish to fight for a Europe in which no one will be forced to leave his region because of the poor living conditions. 5 million Romanians have left Romania, youngsters too, and this cannot be accepted anymore. That’s why we must create equal working conditions. We must invest in infrastructure to offer a better future to our youngsters. 1.1. million Romanians are working in fields where products are made to be exported. This is very much. This sends us a clear signal. We can have a better economic future only if we improve the social conditions”, Manfred Weber stated on Saturday at the EPP Summit from Bucharest.
He accuses the European Socialists of approaching trade in a similar way to the U.S. President Donald Trump.
“Socialists don’t want to have other commercial agreements. They want to do the same as Donald Trump, block the trade, build walls. I don’t want make any wall, I want to make bridges because this is the only way for the sustainable economic development”, Weber stated.
Speaking of social and health policies, the EPP politician said that the production of services and products that treat cancer better must be supported.
“To support those who produce new services and good products, we must follow this way. 405 of the Europeans will face cancer in their lives. All of us who had such a case in our families know how it feels like. They feel hopeless, and if we combine all the data, a masterplan against cancer, we, the Europeans, could find an answer against cancer and perhaps cure cancer. I want to present such a masterplan against cancer”, the leader of the EPP group in the European Parliament concluded.
Weber, about a single woman on the PNL list: In the long run, there must be gender equality
Asked about his opinion on the fact that there is only one woman on the PNL’s eligible seats for the EP elections, the leader of the EPP group in the EP, Manfred Weber, stated that there is a rule within the EPP group, according to which “we must have 50% women”, and in the long run there must be gender equality.
“I am thinking at the woman holding this seat and I must tell you she is a very strong woman nominated by PNL, Adina is doing a good job at the European level, she is a Vice President of the European Parliament, therefore her contribution is important and I count on her. In the long run, yes, you are right, we have a rule at the EPP political group, according to which we must have 50% women at the Presidency. Therefore, in the long run, this gender equality must definitely exist and be respected”, Manfred Weber stated at a press conference after the EPP Summit from Bucharest, asked if the fact that PNL’s list for the EP elections includes only one woman is a problem of representativeness.
He added that the Liberals’ list for the EP elections is “a good mix” between people coming from outside politics, MEPs who already have experience and mayors.
“I want to stress that I saw the list and its presentation, and there is a good balance between politicians and mayors, good fellows, we have new figures, such as Mr. Bogdan, the top candidate, and also experienced colleagues, who have experience within the EP. We don’t want to lose them since they are doing a great job. To have a better understanding, when you built a network, I am speaking of Siegfried Muresan, Marian-Jean Marinescu, they have already built a network of contacts, they know the others from the other parties, from the delegations, and thus they become stronger. I appreciate a lot that among the first ten candidates there are many colleagues who already benefit from this and know how things work. I believe it’s a good mix between new faces coming from outside, and mayors from the local level and the experienced ones are well represented”, Weber concluded.
Manfred Weber: EU must implement mandatory rule of law mechanism
Referring to the Romanian protests that have taken place against the backdrop of the amendments brought to the judicial laws, Manfred Weber, EPP candidate for the helm of the European Commission, stated on Saturday, in Bucharest, that at the moment there is no system for guaranteeing the rule of law but that he wants such a system to exist in the future.
“I respect their opinion and move to take to the street to express it. At European level we have many possibilities to guarantee when a state wants to join the EU, we have a high level of criteria that candidate states must observe before joining the EU. But when a state is already a member and there is a government that is not ready to stick to these principles, to guarantee [them] for the EU, then we don’t have as many instruments to guarantee this, that s why even when judges point out that something is not all right, in the future the EU must implement a mandatory rule of law mechanism, to guarantee that the fundamental principles are observed at the European level as a whole,” Manfred Weber stated at a press conference that followed the EPP Summit in Bucharest.
The leader of the EPP group added that he supports the existence of such a European mechanism that would guarantee the values of democracy and the rule of law, a system which states outside Europe would take as an example.
“Now we don’t have such mechanisms at our disposal, and I believe all Europeans are expecting this. We’re not talking about a North-South, East-West divide. Everyone must know that they have a corruption-free state, an independent judiciary and an independent press. As candidate for the leadership of the European Commission, I want to propose such a mechanism that would guarantee the stability of our values in the long term. There is a global dimension, and telling them – in Asia, China, Russia – please respect the European way of living, democracy, the observance of the rule of law. That is why I firmly defend this. I know that Romanians too are expecting this from politicians,” Weber added.
Weber on Fidesz’s potential exclusion from the EPP: All options are on the table. We decide on Wednesday
Manfred Weber, the leader of the European People’s Party group within the EP, stated on Saturday that he is negotiating with all EPP member parties the exclusion of Fidesz from the group, pointing out hat a decision in this sense will be taken on Wednesday.
“In what concerns Fidesz, recent days have not been easy within the EPP. We have had formal requests to take action as regards our friends in Hungary. I had the opportunity to meet Premier Viktor Orban last Tuesday, in Budapest. We discussed the problems we are facing, and the EPP is a party of values, a party of fundamental principles, of joint convictions, and that is why we must guarantee that each party observes these values within the framework of its main programme. We are holding talks with all EPP member parties to prepare for Wednesday. For the time being, all options are on the table. My goal is to prepare a position so that everyone party member would agree. This is what I’m trying to do along with party president Joseph Daul,” Weber stated after the EPP Summit in Bucharest.
He said Fidesz must decide whether it adheres to the EPP’s common values.
“The main message is that we are a party of common understanding and this is a question that our friends from Hungary must answer, whether they respect these principles or not,” Manfred Weber concluded.
On Friday, Hungarian Premier Viktor Orban pleaded for a European Union “of strong leaders,” made up of “strong nations,” in order to avoid “the nightmare of the United States of Europe,” warning that there is the risk of losing Europe if Christianity is not protected.
Prior to that, Manfred Weber had asked Viktor Orban to give up his anti-EU rhetoric, in the context of demands to exclude Fidesz from the EPP.
On Thursday, the Hungarian Prime Minister sent a letter to the European leaders who asked that Fidesz be excluded from the European People’s Party (EPP), apologising for the offensive language, Reuters and Bloomberg inform.
The EPP Manifesto for EP elections
Michael Schneider, EPP leader within the Committee of Regions, presented the EPP manifesto for the European Parliament elections, which contains five points and centres on moving closer to European citizens by communicating the beneficial projects of the European Union.
The manifesto proposes the following:
“1. We want a European Union by the people and for the people. We want a European Union by the people and for the people, which starts in our villages, cities and regions. We need a European Union deeply rooted in these territories, based on democratic values. We need a Union that safeguards peace, liberty and our prosperity. We want to be proud of our identity as European citizens belonging to the cities, regions and member states united in diversity.
“2. We want to live in a sustainable European Union that protects and creates opportunities for its people. We hope for a European Union that protects us, our families, our way of life, and our planet. We want a European Union that guarantees security by strengthening external borders and combating extremism and nationalism within its borders. We need a friendly Union that would offer equal opportunities, would embrace the least privileged and would promote a rich and inclusive society; a European Union that allows quality education and medical insurance and job opportunities. We want a European Union that invests in local businesses, research and innovation that influence the lives of people by treating incurable disease, makes transport cleaner and our homes more energy efficient.
“3. We need more cohesion between the regions, cities and rural areas of the European Union. We need a European Union of solidarity, which ensures economic, social and territorial cohesion. We support cohesion as a fundamental European value, since it creates opportunities for people from both rich and poor regions, strengthens the single market and enhances the feeling of belonging to the European project. We believe it is crucial to reduce disparities between the territories of Europe and to enhance their competitiveness. We want a digitalised, friendly and interconnected public European administration at national and regional levels, as precondition for offering efficient services for citizens and businesses.
“4. We want a European Union that would take decisions closer to the citizens, based on the principle of subsidiarity. We support an efficient and democratic Union that is closer to its citizens. We believe prosperity and confidence make people feel Europe.
“5. The EPP family proposes a concrete path to follow further to the interest of all EU citizens.”
Schneider emphasises the idea that the EPP should communicate more efficiently with EU citizens in order to avoid the EU having to choose between Eurosceptics and populists. “We commit to teaming up with EPP’s leading candidate Manfred Weber in order to work in the interest of the people,” the manifesto reads.
PSD reacts to the statements made at the EPP Summit
PSD MEP Zoana: Ludovic Orban, who considers himself a winged hussar, hasn’t passed the stage of a eunuch at the EPP Court
PSD MEP Gabriela Zoana stated on Saturday that Ludovic Orban did an anti-Romanian gesture by accepting the Summit of the European People’s Party (EPP) in Bucharest, mentioning that the PSD Chairman considers himself “a winged hussar”, but in terms of politics he never passed the stage of a “eunuch at the EPP Court”.
“As I said before, organizing the EPP Summit in Bucharest is a slap to the Romanians’ cheek. EPP is the European party that initiated and promoted the resolution against Romania in the last autumn, a resolution that was voted by all the PNL MEPs in a profound contempt for the country. Ludovic Orban’s accept to organize this Summit in Romania means nothing else than an act of obedience towards his and Iohannis’ masters. By this anti-Romanian gesture, Ludovic Orban, who considers himself a winged hussar, actually proves that he never passed the political stage of a eunuch at the EPP Court – a politician without courage without his own ideas, without any intention to show his individuality”, Gabriela Zoana stated in a press release sent to MEDIAFAX on Saturday.
The PSD MEP added that in order to complete the scene, the leader of the EPP group in the EP, Manfred Weber, rebuked Ludovic Orban for not sending enough women in the European Parliament.
“For the scene to be complete, Manfred Weber, the EPP leader, rebuked the eunuch Orban for not sending enough women in the European Parliament, since there was only one Liberal woman on PNL’s list for the elections to be held in May, the rest of the candidates being almost men. These are the Liberal ‘values’ – the head is leaned when the master passes, the voice is thin, the lips are tapered because of so many shoes kissed and thunderous applauses when the master shouts from the microphone: ‘EU, Romania!’. Orban… the Bratianu brothers are turning in their graves!”, the PSD MEP concluded.
Gabriela Zoana’s reaction comes in the context in which the EPP Summit of the local and regional leaders was held on Saturday at Romexpo. At the event, Ludovic Orban presented PNL’s candidates for the EP elections, saying that they are “winged hussars”. Journalist Rares Bogdan, about which Orban stated “he came back home”, is on the first place.
PSD MEP Razvan Popa: the EPP Summit from Bucharest, a parade of anti-Romanians
PSD MEP Razvan Popa labeled as defying the organization of the EPP Summit of the local and regional leaders from Saturday, in Bucharest, the meeting being “a parade of anti-Romanians” right in the Capital of the country.
“It is defying that this event was organized right in the Capital of Romania, one of the most attacked countries by the EPP politicians. The EPP Summit was a parade of anti-Romanians in Bucharest, which is hard to accept. Even more tragic is that the Romanian politicians affiliated to this European family compete between them by attacking their own country, and for this, they are rewarded with positions on the lists. The EP elections will make a surprise to the members of the European People’s Party, regarding Romania. Romanian people are dignified and do not accept to be used as targets, and this will be shown when they will vote, when PNL will get a lesson”, Razvan Popa stated in a press release sent to MEDIAFAX on Saturday.